Brushing and flossing are the best ways to avoid oral health issues like gingivitis. If you add mouthwash into the equation you’re set for success. Mouthwash is an effective tool in the fight against tooth decay, gingivitis, as well as the promotion of healthy teeth and gums. With regular brushing, flossing, and the use of mouthwash you can keep your mouth healthy and smelling fresh. Talk with your dentist about the importance of mouthwash and find a strategy that works for you.
Types of mouthwash
Broadly speaking, there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic.
Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath and provide a fresh, pleasant taste, but that’s about it. Therapeutic mouthwash has active ingredients intended to help control or reduce specific conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. Some active ingredients commonly found in therapeutic mouthwash include cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorhexidine, essential oils, fluoride, or peroxide. You may use a cosmetic mouthwash to mask bad breath, but you would need a therapeutic mouthwash to actually kill the bacteria that cause the bad breath.
what are the benefits of mouthwash?
Plenty of people enjoy using mouthwash because it leaves them with a pleasant minty sensation that evokes a fresh feeling in your mouth. However, mouthwash is also an essential daily practice for oral hygiene and the following benefits can be expected if you incorporate mouthwash into your daily routine. While mouthwash is a great way to enhance your oral hygiene, visiting your dentist is essential for advanced care for your teeth.
It can reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth
A therapeutic mouthwash can help prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis by reducing the amount of plaque and bacteria trapped in your mouth. The bacteria from gum infections can cause certain pregnancy complications when it enters a woman’s bloodstream and you can reduce this risk by rinsing with a mouthwash on a regular basis. A therapeutic mouthwash with fluoride can help reduce cavities and demineralization of your teeth when used on a regular basis as well.
It can whiten your teeth
A mouthwash won’t have quite the same impact as a whitening treatment, but one of the benefits of some therapeutic mouthwashes is a whitening effect over time. If that is your goal, look for a mouthwash that contains carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide as one of the active ingredients. You do need to be careful which mouthwash you choose though because one of the most common side effects of antibacterial mouthwashes is tooth staining. If you’re stuck on which mouthwash to choose for whitening properties, ask your dentist because we are able to prescribe stronger mouthwashes than you’d find on store shelves.
Get a fresh breath
This one is the most common. Mouthwash gives you a good breath that not even a toothpaste can give. However, it does not last for a long period of time. It kills all the bacteria that is associated with bad breath and leaves a very sweet yet cooling fresh breathe. It good part about them is that you can get a variety of flavors. So, get the flavor which you like the most.
Say goodbye to particles
It is very common nowadays that most of the people use mouthwash only after brushing their teeth. They do it to get a fresher breath. However, there is something that they are not aware of. It also clears all the loose particles that formed in your mouth when you wake up. Try using your mouthwash before brushing and get a better brushing and flossing experience.
There are various mouthwashes on the market that can help in preventing the growth of plaque on your gums. It can also grow in the middle of the teeth and on the surface of the teeth. While it surely prevents the growth of plaque, it cannot end the plaque that already exists. So make sure that you brush your teeth regularly because together, they can be a cure to many of the oral problems.
Fights cavities from growning
Yes, it can also prevent the cavities from growing. It is because it contains property of fluoride that prevents your teeth from cavities and it also makes your enamel stronger. Just a tip, make sure that you check the back label of the mouthwash that you are going to buy. It is because most of the mouthwashes don’t have fluoride in it.
Reduce canker sore irritation
However, take caution that you do not use a mouthwash with too much alcohol content, since this can cause an intensely painful irritation. For canker sores, stick to lower alcohol content for your rinses by finding mouthwash that has less than 18 percent alcohol. Following this advice will ensure that your mouthwash aids you in obtaining essential canker sore relief.
How to use fluoride mouthwash and rinses?
Many dentists believe that twice-daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste provides enough fluoride for cavity protection. But if you’re prone to cavities, you can use a fluoride mouth rinse in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth.
Some studies have shown that mouth rinses with fluoride can supplement daily brushing with fluoride toothpastes, especially in areas where drinking water is not supplemented with fluoride. These rinses are effective in strengthening the enamel of your teeth and protecting your teeth from acid damage;
Steps to follow when using fluoride rinse
- Use the right amount– Use the amount of rinse indicated on the label or as directed by your dentist.
- Swish like you mean it– Keep your mouth closed and swish the rinse vigorously as directed on the label.
- Spit– Don’t swallow mouth rinse. The fluoride in most fluoride rinses can be toxic if you swallow large enough amounts. If you allow your child to use mouthwash, supervise to be sure that he or she spits it out and doesn’t swallow it
- Wait – To get the most benefit from a fluoride mouthwash, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes so you don’t wash away the fluoride
Points to keep in mind
Keep these points in mind to get the most from your mouthwash or mouth rinse:
- Dilute If Necessary– Be sure to read the label on any brand of mouthwash that you choose. Different brands have different concentrations, and some may recommend that you dilute them with water. Remember, if the label does not tell you to dilute, then you may not get the full benefit of the mouth wash if the germ killing ingredients are at a lower level.
- Mouthwash is not a replacement– It is essential to remember that no mouthwash is a replacement for the regular oral care routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. So, even if your dentist recommends or prescribes a mouthwash, you still need to follow your complete oral care routine to maintain good dental health.
- Watch The Clock– One of the keys to using mouthwash correctly is to swish it in your mouth for the correct amount of time. Read the product label. Most mouthwashes recommend that you swish the product around in your mouth for 30 seconds to one minute then spit it out.
How to choose the best mouthwash?
When shopping for a mouthwash, consider what the most important benefits of mouthwash are for you. Look for alcohol-free options so that you don’t have to worry about the risks associated with an alcohol-based mouthwash. Be sure to look for an approved mouthwash and check to make sure it addresses the issues you’re looking to treat. If you find yourself unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for help!
You have many options, and the right mouthwash or rinse for you is the one that meets your dental hygiene needs for the health of your teeth and gums, and taste preference.
To help choose the right mouthwash or rinse, remember what mouthwash does and keep these points in mind:
- Alcohol: yes or no?– Alcohol is a component of many mouthwashes and rinses, which can problematic if a large quantity is deliberately swallowed. If you want to buy one type of mouthwash or rinse for the whole family, and your household includes school-aged children or teens, you may want to choose from among the alcohol-free mouthwash products that are available. Also, some recovering alcoholics avoid using mouthwash with alcohol in daily oral care because of the potential for abuse.
- Sensitivity– Some people find the ingredients in mouthwash irritating, especially people who have sensitive gums. Also, people who don’t usually complain of sensitive gums may find that their mouths are more sensitive for a short time if they are recovering from a dental procedure.If you have a sensitive mouth, consider an alcohol-free or natural mouthwash in your oral care routine. Natural mouthwashes often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile for a soothing effect.
- Plaque control– If you want a mouthwash that not only helps control bad breath but also helps to prevent plaque build-up on the teeth, look for a dental rinse that contains anti-plaque ingredients. If you’re uncertain about which mouthwash or rinse would best meet your oral health needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for suggestions regarding the use of mouthwash in daily oral care.
On top of those benefits, many people choose to use mouthwash purely because it makes their mouth feel fresh and clean, but there are some risks you should be aware of as well.
Oral cancer & dry mouth
Alcohol-based mouthwashes are the kind that you find in most grocery stores but they can have some serious side effects. The alcohol itself can dry out your mouth and lead to bad breath which is likely what you’re trying to avoid by using a mouthwash to begin with. There is an ongoing debate about whether alcohol-based mouthwashes increase your risk for oral cancer. This is still being researched and a recent systematic review and meta-analysis failed to find an association between alcohol-based mouthwash use and oral cancer but the jury is still out on this.
It could raise your blood pressure
There are studies that have indicated that regular use of mouthwash could increase your blood pressure because it eliminates some of the beneficial bacteria found in the mouth. Not all bacteria is bad bacteria and mouthwash can eliminate the bacteria responsible for producing nitric oxide that helps in protecting your cardiovascular system.
It can eliminate good bacteria
When you wipe out all of the bacteria in your mouth, you wipe out your first line of protection against invading bacteria. For this reason, using mouthwash can increase your risk of getting infections like H Pylori and C-difficile. Antibacterial mouthwash can increase your risk of gut inflammation that can lead to increased intestinal permeability and contribute to food intolerances, food allergies, and even some gut-related autoimmune diseases.
Whether you choose to use a mouthwash or not, you should know that mouthwash of any kind is not recommended for children younger than 6 years of age. The swallowing reflexes of children this young may not be well developed and that can result in them swallowing large amounts of mouthwash which can trigger nausea, vomiting, and intoxication (due to the alcohol content in some mouthwashes).
Simply salt water
If you’re looking for a more natural mouth wash option dentists also recommend using a simple saltwater mouthwash. Saltwater mouthwashes are an excellent short term treatment, especially if you have wounds in your mouth – for instance, when you’ve had teeth removed.
Salt acts as a natural disinfectant and also removes any swelling from the tissues. practitioners often recommend using salt water for two or three weeks after dental surgery, as well as in cases of infection or mouth ulcers.
Long term use of a saltwater mouth rinse is not recommended as it could lead to tooth erosion by eating away and softening the tooth enamel and making your teeth more susceptible to chipping and cavities.